“Anissa Mayhew had a stroke last night.”
For much of the Mom Blogging world, reading that sentence was like a punch in the gut. Anissa is a 35 year old wife and mom of three from the Atlanta area, and this is her second stroke in four years. Her daughter, Peyton, is a Cancer Survivor…one year and counting. She is a beloved blogger at Free Anissa, the ringleader at Aiming Low, a must follow on Twitter and brings laughter to many, many more sites, organizations and hearts. Anissa is an advocate, a support, a friend and a wonder.
I’ve met her once in person, and “talked” to her a handful of times. I’ve had Anissa’s Guest DJ Shuffle for two months, just waiting for her to add song notes. This morning when I awoke, I thought of the shuffle; about posting it today, to spread the word and most importantly – to ask people to pray. But then I hesitated. I’m not a good friend of hers; I didn’t want to be perceived as “intruding.”
This Blogosphere is a funny ol’ place. We open ourselves up to strangers. We show our vulnerabilities, our faults, our strength and our passions. We share, without really ever knowing with whom, or how a little piece of us has touched another. Anissa has evidently gotten under my skin, because I can’t shake this worry. I can’t stop her smiling face from passing through my thoughts, and I won’t stop praying.
I emailed Mishi at Secret Agent Mama, and offered her the shuffle to post; I’d just wait for another from Anissa when she recovered. Mishi told me to post it, along with things that I said in my email. So, I am.
The only time I actually met Anissa was at Type-A Mom Conference…and for literally all of ten minutes. Before that, we’d served together in the “Bloggess Army” Shatner Campaign – that was the first time she’d crossed my radar. (Remember – I’m only five months into the Mom Blogging – I was oblivious before I started MSM in July.) I knew she was hysterically funny and down to earth.
I checked out Free Anissa and found out about Peyton, so I knew she was strong and loving. When I approached her at Type-A, she greeted me like an old friend; made me feel important by acknowledging that “of COURSE she knew who I was” (even though I imagine she was wracking her brain 😉 ). She immediately pulled out her iPhone to give me the shuffle I was asking for, laughing the whole time as the songs came up.
She’s clearly a “Power Blogger”, and was sitting front and center in a table full of them…and she was kind, welcoming and all around wonderful to me.
I haven’t had much communication with her since Type A, beyond the occasional tweets now and then commenting on each other’s snark, and a few emails about her shuffle. She wanted to add song notes, but she’d been sick, then Peyton had a medical scare. There was no way I was going to bother her so I just shelved it, knowing we’d get back to it sometime.
Well, sometime is now. Crank up this playlist and sing at the top of your lungs. Dance around your living room. Smile and be joyful. If you pray, then pray while you dance, pray while you sing, pray while you go about the rest of your day. Because Anissa would pray for you, and because Anissa spreads joy, and because Anissa laughs and sings. She’s a doer, and a fighter, and needs all the positivity that all of us can share – even those of us who appreciate her from the fringes.
To do more, please go to Aiming Low. The team there will be updating as they can, and have information on other ways to help the Mayhew family.
I’ve also set up an Interactive Playlist for Anissa HERE. I figure she’ll be needing some good tunes while she recuperates. 😉 Feel free to pop in and drop her a song or two, and a comment if you want. Because music soothes, music heals…and music can convey things words sometimes just can’t.